Journal Article

IDS Bulletin Vol. 38 Nos. 1

Introduction: Decentralising Service Delivery? Evidence and Policy Implications

Published on 1 January 2007

Does the devolution of responsibility for service provision to elected local authorities improve the delivery of services to the poor? This is the major challenge of democratic decentralisation and a key benchmark by which its effectiveness should be assessed.

Many governments across the developing world are engaged in ambitious efforts to devolve power and resources to local bodies which are increasingly assuming responsibility for managing the delivery of health, education and other essential services to poor people.

Decentralised service delivery is now a key determinant of the scope for less-developed countries to achieve the Millennium Development Goals since many of these goals are premised on outcomes that are increasingly within the realm of responsibility of elected local governments.

Related Content

IDS Bulletin 38.1

Cite this publication

Robinson, M. (2007) Introduction: Decentralising Service Delivery? Evidence and Policy Implications. IDS Bulletin 38(1): 1-6


IDS Honorary Associate

Publication details

IDS Bulletin, volume 38, issue 1


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